Ahead of the performance, Yearwood, 54, assured ET’s Nancy O’Dell that she had not heard the song before its debut.
“I have not heard this thing!” she told ET. “I swear, pinkie swear.”
The tune was incredibly moving, bringing both Brooks and Yearwood (not to mention the audience) to tears as Brooks sang about all the ways in which Yearwood was stronger than him.
ET was backstage after the performance to get Yearwood’s reaction and to see the touching moment that the pair reunited.
“I’m going to kiss your face. That was so beautiful,” Yearwood said, stepping in front of the cameras and embracing Brooks.
She also opened up to ET’s Nancy O’Dell about her response to the moving ballad.
“Girls know this, when you’re about to cry and it wells up and then it kind of subsides a little and you’re like, ‘OK,’ and then it wells up again,” she dished. “It didn’t fall and go all the way down my chin and down to my shirt until the end, but it was beautiful!”
Now that the fellow country artist has heard the song, she can’t wait for Brooks to play it for her again.
“I’m going to make him sing it to me again at home, so I could cry very ugly. ‘Cause I was like, ‘Keep it together, keep it together,’ but it was fabulous,” she gushed.
She was particularly moved by the last line of the song, which goes, “I pray God takes me first ‘cause you’re stronger than me.”
“This is a conversation we have in our lives, so yeah, it’s like, ‘I can’t, I hope I go first,’ and he’s like, ‘No, I have to go first. I can’t. I won’t be able to,’” she revealed.
For more big moments from the CMAs, watch the clip below: